Tuesday after Christ the King Sunday (Last Sunday of the Church Year)
November 26, 2013
The Lord be with you
Well the busy half of the Church Year is upon us. For the next month we will have worship services on at least two days each week, beginning with this week. After Epiphany (January 6) there will be a lull until Ash Wednesday, which is March 5th year.
This week we will have a Thanksgiving service on Wednesday (the eve of our national Thanksgiving Day holiday). The service will begin at 7:00 and choir will have their practice following the service. This will be a communion service. The liturgy is specially designed, using hymns instead of many of our familiar liturgical pieces. The readings are Deuteronomy 8:1-10, Philippians 4:6-20 and Luke 17:11-19. The sermon text is Luke 17:16 and the sermon is titled “Remember to Thank God.” The LC-MS synopsis of the lessons reads:
We Praise God for Sustaining Life in and through His Word
The nation resounds with thanksgiving for the earth’s bountiful harvest, crops of wheat and grains, all beneath the canopy of God’s almighty care. But “man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deut. 8:3). The Church is the vessel through which the Word of God penetrates the world with its Law and Gospel. It is this divine Word that proclaims Jesus as the sole source of life, health and wholeness. It is Jesus who heals lepers with His Word, “Go and show yourselves to the priests” (Luke 17:14). Of the 10 cleansed, only one expresses thanksgiving to Jesus. But true gratitude proceeds from a heart sustained by faith. Jesus bids this one Samaritan to “rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” So also, we are sent from the Divine Service, bolstered in our faith by baptismal and Eucharist blessing to be thankful in our circumstances of plenty and hunger, abundance and need (Phil. 4:6–20).
Aside from the hymns that are part of the liturgy, we will be singing “Now Thank We All Our God” (LSB 895), “Great is Thy Faithfulness” (LSB 809) and “Sent Forth by God’s Blessing” (LSB 643. We also have some distribution hymns that we can sing, but we will see if we sing them.
Below is a video of an Acapella arrangement of the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” It is rather clever. The same fellow sings all the parts. He even directs himself.
This coming Sunday (December 1) will be the First Sunday of Advent. For our liturgy we will be using Matins (page 219). Our hymns will be “The Advent of Our King” (LSB 331), “Hark! A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding” (LSB 345) and “Hark the Glad Sound” (LSB 349). The scripture lessons will be Isaiah 2:1–5, Romans 13:8–14 and Matthew 24:36–44. The LC-MS synopsis of the lessons reads:
The Lord Comes in Meekness and Humility to Save Us Now
The Lord Jesus enters Jerusalem “humble, and mounted on a donkey,” riding on “a beast of burden” (Matt. 21:5), as He Himself bears the sins of the world in His body. Now He comes by the ministry of the Gospel to save us from sin, death, the devil and hell. Therefore, we sing, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matt. 21:9). For we are called “to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob,” His holy Church, “that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths” (Is. 2:3). By His Word, we “walk in the light of the Lord” (Is. 2:5). That is to live in love, which “does no wrong to a neighbor” (Rom. 13:10). We “cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light,” for “salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed” (Rom. 13:11, 12). Hence, the entire Christian life is a time to wake and watch, “for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” (Matt. 24:42).
Below is the LutheranWarbler singing “Hark the Glad Sound,” which we will sing Sunday. Unlike most of her recordings, she is not playing the piano. Instead she is accompanied by a violinist.
In the Sunday morning Bible study we have just begun Colossians. This past Sunday we finished verse 2. At this pace it is a good thing the book only has 95 verses!
The proposed budget for 2014 should be in everyone’s mailboxes this coming Sunday.
Well, I pray we will see you each Wednesday and Sunday throughout the holiday season.
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert